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Jim Green: The democratic solution

Continued from Page 4

Jim Green: 1. Since I took you on the tour 12 years ago, there have been new issues and some victories. For instance, community groups led by a woman, were able to eliminate the sale of cooking wine, which was killing many people. The use of Lysol as a drug has disappeared. There has been more housing built, and more women and children moving into the community. We have been inundated with drugs that are very harmful and difficult to deal with, as you say. These are vicious drugs that are peddled by people who have no concern for the lives of others. These people are usually not residents of the community but come in to prey on the vulnerable in the community. I don't know how we are going to resolve this issue but we must.

2. You are right Heather, that some of the ideas about Women and Children as the safeguards of community life do come from Jane Jacobs, but it's more than that. If there is a single male that finds a community undesirable, they have an option of packing up and leaving. Women with children usually would not seek that option because of schools, friends and support from other women in their neighbourhood. The 4 Sisters is a great example where the women in that co-op set up their own systems of child care and many were able, because of stable housing and those support networks, to leave the dependence of welfare and enter the work force, many for the first time in their lives. It is the stabilization factor that I believe to be so important. Also I found that single men living in housing that also houses families, are often much more careful about their own behaviour because of the presence of women and children. It is an overall necessity that a community that is still around 80% single males, reintroduces women and children. I also believe that women and children are a major force in dealing with drug related issues. They do not want their children going by areas where drug deals are taking place, or violent relations between drug dealers are being played out on the streets. They will work very hard to make sure these issues are dealt with to protect their children. This is not to say that men would not do the same thing for their children, and single men often times become soldiers in the war against these negative impacts because of the leadership of women.

Darren Yourk, editor, That's all the time we have today. Thanks to Mr. Green for spening the hour with us, and thanks to readers for sending in questions.

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Return to Canada’s Slum:The Fix

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With the 2010 Olympics coming to Vancouver, the eyes of the world will be on the city's Downtown Eastside. The millions poured into the neighbourhood seem to have had little impact on its squalor, its people or their problems with addiction. What should be done? Where would you start? How would you fix Canada's slum?


Public Forum:

On March 24 at 7 p.m. PT, The Globe, in partnership with CTV and the University of British Columbia, will bring together experts with fresh solutions for the Downtown Eastside at a public forum at UBC’s Robson Square campus.


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Update (March 6, 2009): Tickets are now SOLD OUT


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